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January 13, 2005

  • 1. Perspectives

  • Spyware: An Evolving Threat
  • 2. News and Views

  • Ask Microsoft Your SQL Server Questions!
  • Microsoft WINS and SQL Server Targeted
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server 2005 Migration
  • New Instant Poll: Spyware
  • 3. Reader Challenge

  • Winners of the January Reader Challenge: Eliminating Recompilation
  • February Reader Challenge: Avoiding Application Failure
  • 4. Announcements

  • Free SQL Server Performance Tips and Articles
  • Recovery-Management Strategies
  • 5. Peer to Peer

  • Hot Tip: Choosing a Secure Authentication System
  • Hot Article: Grouping Ranges
  • Kevin Kline's "In a Nutshell" Blog: Prepping for Next Event
  • Hot Threads
  • 6. New and Improved

  • Consolidate Backups on 32-Bit or 64-Bit Systems
  • Automate Migration of Database Changes
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    1. Perspectives

  • Spyware: An Evolving Threat

  • by Brian Moran,

    The Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware beta is now available from Microsoft. You might not think that's SQL Server news, but it's an important event in the security world, and security is a major concern for all SQL Server professionals. Is spyware a big problem? In November 2004, the analyst firm IDC reported that 67 percent of all consumer PCs are infected with some form of spyware. The study didn't comment directly on business-related computers, but I think it's safe to assume that the number is comparable.

    In the beginning, spyware was a minor inconvenience, but over time, spyware has evolved into a problem that affects a machine's performance and undermines consumer and business trust in data security and privacy. One day, spyware could become a dangerous tool for corporate espionage so we must all be concerned now.

    You can download the AntiSpyware beta and get more information about its features and benefits at The following Microsoft newsgroups provide support for the AntiSpyware beta:


    You can access the newsgroups by using NNTP or HTTP. To access the newsgroups through HTTP, go to To access the newsgroups using NNTP, use the following information for your NNTP client:

  • NNTP Server:
  • Account name: privatenews\spyware
  • Password: spyware
  • Several spyware solutions are on the market today; however, many people run multiple products because no single product is effective. Using multiple products isn't a scalable solution. It's too early to tell whether Microsoft's solution will effectively address the spyware problem, but I believe the company will provide a better, more comprehensive solution than those that are currently available. To form your own preliminary opinion, read the press release "Microsoft Acquires Anti-Spyware Leader GIANT Company" at .

    Microsoft also provides a set of tools that clear computers of malicious software, which solves another problem for many consumers and business customers. Most anti-virus tools do a good job of preventing infections, but in many cases, there's little help for getting rid of the disease once you're infected. Microsoft's tools are new versions of virus- and worm-removal tools that Microsoft released in 2004. Each of the tools released in 2004 is specific to a single virus and some of its variants. The new removal tools are more convenient for customers because one tool tackles all viruses and variants. The tools will be available to customers through the Microsoft Download Center, as a critical update through Windows Update and Auto Update, and as an ActiveX control, Malicious Software Removal Tool, available at . The press release I mentioned explains that the new tools' technology is based on technology from Giant Company, a leading provider of anti-spyware and other Internet security tools that Microsoft recently acquired.

    I believe that time will prove these tools useful. Until then however, the tools' release is further evidence that Microsoft finally understands the importance of security and that the company treats security as an important design consideration. If security permeates every product that Microsoft ships, that's a good thing for all of us.

    Free SQL Server 2000 Training CD!
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    2. News & Views

  • Ask Microsoft Your SQL Server Questions!
  • Ask members of Microsoft's SQL Server development team your pressing questions. Just send your nagging problems or curious queries to Join the hundreds of SQL Server professionals who've received advice from the developers who built the system. SQL Server Magazine will share selected Q&As in the print magazine so that everyone can learn from your experiences. So send in your technical questions about everything from T-SQL, DTS/Integration Services, server internals, replication, MDX programming, and management tools to ADO.NET, Common Language Runtime (CLR) programming with SQL Server, and architecting applications for performance and security. And as development team members help answer your questions, they'll also be helping another community by donating payment for the column to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

    Microsoft WINS and SQL Server Targeted
    The Internet Storm Center (ISC) reports that attempts to penetrate systems through WINS and SQL Server have been detected. Read this article to learn how to ensure that your systems aren't vulnerable.

  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: SQL Server 2005 Migration

  • "When do you plan to migrate to SQL Server 2005?" Here are the results from the 147 votes:

  •  6%   We're already running on SQL Server 2005 Beta software
  • 25%   Within 6 months after the product's release
  • 37%   Within 1 year after the product's release
  • 16%   Within 2 years after the product's release
  • 16%   We don't plan to migrate to SQL Server 2005
  • New Instant Poll: Spyware

  • "Do you use multiple tools to handle your spyware problems?" Go to the SQL Server Magazine home page ( ) and submit your vote for

  • Yes
  • No, I use only one tool
  • No, I don't have a spyware problem
  • 3. Reader Challenge

  • Winners of the January Reader Challenge: Eliminating Recompilation

  • by Umachandar Jayachandran,

    Congratulations to Narasimhan Jayachandran, a senior DBA for First Data Resources in Omaha, Nebraska and Chris Watson, a senior developer for the Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Narasimhan won first prize of $100 for the best solution to the January Reader Challenge, "Eliminating Recompilation." Chris won second prize of $50. You can read a recap of the problem and the solution to the January Reader Challenge at

  • February Reader Challenge: Avoiding Application Failure

  • Now, test your SQL Server savvy in the February Reader Challenge, "Avoiding Application Failure" (below). Submit your solution in an email message to by January 20. Umachandar Jayachandran, a SQL Server Magazine technical editor, will evaluate the responses. We'll announce the winner in an upcoming SQL Server Magazine UPDATE. The first-place winner will receive $100, and the second-place winner will receive $50.

    Here's the challenge: David, a developer for a company that sells firewall and ad-blocking applications, develops applications that use Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE) for storing various configuration metadata and activity logs. David notices that the application startup can fail if the MSDE service hasn't recovered the application database completely even though the SQL Server service has started successfully. How can David avoid application failure if the database isn't recovered completely? What can David do in the application code to start the application gracefully?

    4. Announcements

  • Free SQL Server Performance Tips and Articles

  • Hundreds of free tips and articles on SQL Server performance tuning and clustering. And get quick and accurate answers to your performance- and cluster-related questions in our forum. All from the SQL Server performance authority:

  • Recovery-Management Strategies

  • Learn how to improve business continuity and information lifecycle management with this analyst white paper, compliments of BMC Software. Discover the backup and recovery management strategies needed to keep mission-critical systems running. Download now!

    5. Peer to Peer

    Hot Tip: Choosing a Secure Authentication System
    by Brian Moran,

    Q. My company is deciding between SQL Server Authentication and Windows Authentication for future applications. Which authentication method provides better security?

    Read the answer to this question today at

  • Hot Article: Grouping Ranges

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said, "Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell." In his January T-SQL Black Belt column, "Grouping Ranges" Itzik Ben-Gan shows you how to find groups of dates in a sample retail-activity application, then challenges you with a purely logical exercise to strengthen your mental muscles. Read this article today at

  • In a Nutshell: Prepping for Next Event
  • In this week's blog, "Prepping for Next Event--SQL Connections," Kevin Kline talks about preparing a new presentation for the show in March at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Find out what Kevin enjoys most about the Connections conference and let him know what your favorite part is.

  • Hot Threads: Check out the following hot threads, and see other discussions in our 30 SQL Server forums.


    General Discussion: Server Rejecting Stored Procedure sql_variant Types
    DTS: DTS Losing Records but not Reporting Errors
    Performance: Seeking Feedback About Clustered IDX
    T-SQL: Populating a Table With Random Passwords
    Replication: Add Column in Publisher Article
    Administration: Database Size Unaffected By Table Drop

    Hot Spot

  • Want a Perfect Release? Every Time?

  • DB Ghost builds directly from your source control system, validating your code as it builds, so the hassles of working with broken databases become a distant memory. DB Ghost can then compare and synchronize a target database, giving you a perfect release. Every time. See for yourself:

    6. New & Improved

        by Dawn Cyr,

  • Consolidate Backups on 32-Bit or 64-Bit Systems

  • UltraBac Software announced UltraBac 8.0, backup and disaster-recovery software that lets you create incremental backups so that you can restore damaged or lost data to the point before the loss occurred. The latest release of the solution includes advanced features that make the product even better for datacenters or large, distributed databases. The first improvement users will notice is a feature called UltraCopy, which lets you duplicate tape- or disk-based backups to offsite storage media. In addition, UltraCopy lets you consolidate multiple tape or disk backups to any other removable storage medium. Also new in UltraBac 8.0 is support for Intel and AMD 64-bit processors. Native support for both 64-bit and 32-bit systems allows for seamless backup and recovery in mixed-processor environments. Other new features in this release include differential image-backup functionality, support for media pools and barcodes, a centralized SQL-based database indexing option, direct backup and restore support of CD and DVD writer devices, remote autoloader support, firewire device support, throughput throttling, and reporting of bad blocks for worn tapes. Pricing for UltraBac 8.0 starts at $495 per server and includes the ability to back up an unlimited number of workstations. For more information, contact UltraBac Software at 425-644-6000 or

  • Automate Migration of Database Changes

  • Extreme Technologies announced dbMaestro Freeware Edition, software that lets you automate migration of structural changes from your SQL Server development environment to production. The software tracks changes to development database objects such as tables, indexes, views, and stored code, then lets you select the required changes and apply them to your production system. The product automatically generates the SQL code necessary for the deployment. You can also use the product to compare, synchronize, and migrate lookup and reference data associated with an application. dbMaestro Freeware Edition is available at no charge at the company's Web site or (keyword dbMaestro). For large enterprises requiring additional capabilities, including comprehensive database versioning, Extreme Technologies offers dbMaestro Professional Edition. For more information, contact Extreme Technologies at 972-03-9248558 or

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